It is tempting to see Heart of Darkness as a masterfully constructed parable on human nature (witness Apocalypse Now, Francis Ford Coppola's film adaptation, in which the action was transposed to south-east Asia) but as historian Adam Hochschild has pointed out in King Leopold's Ghost, about the king's rape of the Congo, Conrad himself was quite clear that it was based on specific events he had witnessed, saying it was "experience… pushed a little (and only very little) beyond the actual facts of the case". Despite his protestations, this is undeniably an invaluable historical document offering a glimpse into the horrific human consequences of the imperial powers' scramble for Africa as much as it is a compelling tale.
Although the Coen brothers did an outstanding job of making this book into a movie, you just have to read the book to get a sense of the depth of the characters...even Anton Chigurh.
The movie just cannot capture the essence of Sheriff Ed Tom Bell who comes from a long line of lawmen. As the main protagonist the story really centers around how the sheriff relates the loss of innocence in his small Texas town. He relates how crime has become much more violent with the passage of time and the introduction of the drug trade.
Tom Stechschulte does one of the best jobs of narration that I have heard in an audio book. Perhaps even better than George Guidall and Frank Muller. His voice captures exactly what I imagined the characters would sound like from a South Texas town.
Great story depicting the lawlessness that occurred during the civil war. The author does an outstanding job of building the story up to it's final conclusion. As usual the movie does not do the book justice, read the book, you won't be sorry you did. However, you might find yourself dozing to the droning of Charles Frazier's voice.
Frazier would have done well to stick to writing and leave the narration to Tom Stechschulte, George Guidall, Simon Vance or any other number of narrators who would have done a far greater job with the voices.
If you like historical fiction, Bernard Cornwell's Agincourt is a must read. No WRITER understands the experience of the common soldier better than Bernard Cornwell. He's the Ernie Pyle of, oh, let's see- the Viking raids, Napoleonic wars, the Middle Ages, and the American War Between the States (or for my Southern friends- 'The War of Northern Aggression). In short, Cornwell gets it right; the pride, the rage, the pain, the loss and the soul sucking weariness in the aftermath of battle.
The best account of the Bataan Death March on audio that I have listened to and the narration is top notch.
This is one of the best KJV audio bibles that I have listened to. Max McLean is great with clear, concise pronunciation of the “archaic language” used in this version of the bible.
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